Ni Nyampinga is a project run by non-profit Girl Effect that aims to inform and inspire young girls in Rwanda, with a huge following – reaching one million girls across the country – and powerful social impact. Its printed magazine has no less than 700,000 annual readers, and its radio show is broadcast across nine stations, yet in a country where digital access is increasing exponentially, the brand wasn’t built for online platforms. So, London-based design agency Studio Output was tasked with adapting its already highly recognised identity to work better for them, allowing the movement to continue growing.
The studio’s associate creative director Johanna Drewe spent a week visiting Rwanda to see the brand in action, interviewing content creators, attending clubs and auditing how the brand was being communicated, to make sure the distance wasn’t affecting the new work’s authenticity. “It was important to build on the strengths of the core identity,” the team says. “Any changes needed to reflect the vibrant culture of the audience, not a withdrawn, westernised view of the country. Our work had to maintain existing connections while helping the brand forge new ones with Rwandan youth.”
With this in mind, an importance is placed on the colour palette, which Output says worked well in print but not digital, and graphical patterns. New colours were picked from in-depth research, such as the charcoal tones found in Rwandan artwork and the rich red of the soil; while patterns were inspired by traditional woven baskets, for example.
Ni Nyampinga’s photographers were commissioned to put together a larger suite of images, to give the brand a wider variety for its storytelling. This fell into four different image types, giving content creators options within a structure. It also makes it possible to tell stories while protecting the girls’ identities when required.
Overall, Output says its brand toolkit is “robust but playful” enough to allow Ni Nyampinga’s content to adapt to all platforms, from social media to a live event, and gives the project’s team “freedom to represent the energy of Rwandan youth culture without boundaries”.